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Friendly Whale Makes Comeback

April 15, 1993 GMT

GERZE, Turkey (AP) _ Children and Black Sea fishermen are celebrating the return of a white Beluga whale who befriended them a year ago after escaping from a Russian water park.

The whale - nicknamed Aydin, or ″clever one″ in Turkish - became a national celebrity during a two-month stay. It approached jetties to accept food and let people pet its head.

Its return to the Crimean Sea water park last year touched off demonstrations from town residents.

Town authorities used loudspeakers Wednesday to announce the whale’s return, shouting″Aydin is back 3/8″

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Adil Yazar, the provincial governor, fed Aydin fish and said he would not let the whale be returned. ″We have been waiting for our dear whale. Nobody will take it away from us by force anymore,″ newspapers quoted Yazar as saying.

It was not immediately clear how the 7-year-old whale managed to escape this time.